|Announced Date:||May 2022|
|Released Date:||March 2023|
|Individually Boxed:||No - 3 to a case
Today's NRE 3GS-21B - 3 Genset, 2100 horsepower, B-truck (4 wheels) - is perhaps the perfect marriage of heavy machinery and computers. Each of its three 700-horsepower GenSets turns on only when a microprocessor senses it's needed. At idle (which is a majority of the time for a switcher), only one engine runs, and even that turns off after a certain period of inactivity. Unlike traditional railroad diesels that require an elaborate startup procedure, the Cummins diesels used in GenSets are based on a truck engine design that can be started up instantly. When the locomotive is under load, the second and third GenSets power up and down as needed. The result is a locomotive that delivers fuel savings of 40% and more, compared with traditional yard and road switchers, and an 80% reduction in noxious emissions. No wonder that many GenSet purchases have been funded with government grants targeted at making the air more breathable.
Software also enables a GenSet engine to work longer and harder. Its computer tracks the running time on each engine-generator set and evens out the wear on the locomotive's three units - each of which is skid-mounted and can be changed out in less than six hours if necessary. The 3GS-21B has unusually high tractive effort for its horsepower because a microprocessor controls wheel slip by reducing power to individual traction motors - rather than a whole truck as on older wheel-slip prevention systems. This feature has enabled some customers to do the same work with fewer locomotives. And, like the M.T.H. DCS system, the 3GS-21B has software that can be upgraded over the Internet.
In 2017, these Proto-Sound 3.0 equipped NRE "Engines of Change" feature the superb level of detail you expect in a Premier model, as well as Cummins diesel recordings from an actual 3GS-21B and, like the prototype, the sound of additional GenSets coming on line as you advance the throttle. If you're running the latest low-emissions EMD and GE diesels on your main line, you'll surely want a GenSet or two for your branch line or yard.